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Augusta Health Receives Stroke Quality Achievement Award

Monday, July 8, 2019

Augusta Health has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's "Get with the GuidelinesĀ® Target: Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus" Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital's commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines.

Stroke Get With The Guidelines award logoAugusta Health earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients for a designated period. The goal of the guidelines is to speed recovery and reduce death and disability for stroke patients. The measures include the evaluation of the proper use of medications and stroke treatments that aligned with current standards. Discharge guidelines include patient education on managing health, scheduling follow-up visits and other care transition interventions.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States experiences a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is also, based on the local Community Health Needs Assessment, the fifth leading cause of death in the Staunton-Augusta County-Waynesboro community.

"Augusta Health is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association's Get with the Guideline initiative," said Amy Markham, MSN, RN, SCRN, Quality Coordinator for Neurology, Sepsis and Emergency Medicine at Augusta Health. "The tools and resources provided by the Guidelines help our inter-disciplinary Stroke Team track and measure our success. These evidence-based clinical guidelines help us improve patient outcomes."

Additionally, Augusta Health received the Target: Stroke Honor Roll award. To qualify for this additional recognition, Augusta Health staff met quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient's arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-busting tissue plasminogen activator, tPA.

In 2018, 467 stroke patients were treated at Augusta Health. Of those, 39 cases qualified for tPA. The median door-to-needle (DTN) time for tPA administration at Augusta Health was 48.5 minutes. This is far less than the 60 minutes standard. According to the American Heart Association, studies have found that less than 30% of US patients are treated within the standard time, so the Augusta Health DTN average is outstanding.

"We are pleased to recognize Augusta Health for their commitment to stroke care," said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, national chairperson of the Quality Oversight Committee and Executive Vice Chair of Neurology and Director of Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through Get with the Guidelines often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates."

Augusta Health is an independent, community-owned, not-for-profit hospital whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of its community through access to excellent care. Augusta Health has been nationally recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals for clinical excellence for five consecutive years.